For the first time in my life, I feel happy that Brazil lost in World Cup football (aka soccer), and that too, in such a humiliating way.
Yesterday, they lost to Germany 7-1, in their worst football performance ever. And I was not even shocked to see them going down this way.
I’m happy for various reasons.
The first and foremost reason is, all their lies were nakedly exposed yesterday. Lies that Brazil still were the best football team in the world. They were not. Their glory days were long gone. I remember how growing up in Calcutta, I was a big fan of Brazil and Pelé and Sócrates and Zico and Carlos Alberto and in their not-so-glory days, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, or even the much-hyped Ronaldinho and Kaká. I was glued to their artistry and antics. Pelé and Carlos Alberto even played in Calcutta once. Oh, what a thrill it was to see them!
Their magic football was long gone. They lived on their legacy and hype. And global corporations and FIFA, the global corporate body of football that ruthlessly runs the trillion-dollar empire, only cashed in big profit by using and exploiting that hype.
In this World Cup, which I’m boycotting happily to show my strong protest against the lies and exploitation, Brazil could not even come to this point had it not been unethical (and some say, bribed) refereeing. Colombia, Chile or Mexico could defeat them weeks ago. Brazil used violent football and unscrupulous officials to win their quarter-final match against Colombia.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel sorry for the young Brazilian supporters, and especially those kids who cried helplessly after Brazil’s thrashing, historic defeat to Germany yesterday. But the way they put together this World Cup, with the massive and violent displacement of poor people in the name of development and building those stadiums — funneling billions of dollars that they did not spend on their most urgent needs such as employment, health care, education and transportation — was horrible. FIFA did not care. The global corporations that went in there to make big profit didn’t care either.
And the new Brazilian government and big politicians worked closely with the global 1 percent, to stay in power, and make more profit. Lula’s Porto Alegre and his participatory, democratic budget days were long gone too! Now, even the crying kid has Coke in his hand, while crying!! And McDonald’s are big sponsors.
So sad. The entire World Cup of 2014 was done in a scandalous way.
I would be very happy if Argentina loses too. Not because of Argentina’s ordinary supporters and kids. But because of Argentina’s 1 percent — working in collusion with the global 1 percent. They are cheating their own people exactly the Brazil way.
Footnote: The entire saga of lies, exploitation, profiteering and purposefully misplaced priorities has stark similarities to India and its cricket. Or Pakistan’s. Replace Brazil and Argentina with India and Pakistan, and the word football (aka soccer) with cricket. You’ll get the same story, told all over again.
Brooklyn, New York